Pep Guardiola Says Kevin De Bruyne Sees What 'The Rest of Human Beings' Cannot
Per Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Independent, Guardiola said: "He has that ability and vision to see passes that the rest of human beings are not able to see. With him, our pace and our passes in front in the final third from his passing is incredible."
De Bruyne slipped in Raheem Sterling with a superb through ball from his own half for City's opener after a quarter of an hour.
Leroy Sane set up Sterling for a close-range finish in the 63rd minute. After Luka Milivojevic pulled one back for the Eagles with a free-kick, De Bruyne led a 90th-minute counter-attack and picked out Gabriel Jesus to wrap up three points.
Goal's Sam Lee added to Guardiola's praise of De Bruyne after the match, while Squawka offered further insight into his performance:
The 27-year-old hasn't been nearly as productive as he was last season. His assists on Sunday were only his sixth and seventh of the campaign in all competitions, whereas he got 21 in 2017-18.
However, he spent most of the first half of the campaign out with knee and hamstring injuries, limiting him to just five appearances prior to December.
The manager added there is "no doubt" the playmaker is close to top form now and said: "The last three or four games, he's been incredible the way he played. We had missed him a lot."
Grup 14's Rafael Hernandez felt De Bruyne added more than just his passing:
So too did Guardiola:
"Today he was so committed, defending, winning duels, to be in that position. Of course, he is fresh mentally and his legs, too in that situation. That is why, not just for the two assists that were so important, [but] for all the other situations that we needed, he is so important for us in winning the game."
His performance was a reminder of why Guardiola's decision to start him on the bench against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday—and not bring him on until the 89th minute—was a bizarre one.
De Bruyne is arguably City's most influential player when he's fit and firing, and his form comes at the perfect time for the Sky Blues as they continue their attempts to win the quadruple.
He'll surely start against Spurs in the Champions League on Wednesday as City bid to turn around their 1-0 deficit from the first leg, and if he puts in a similar showing, his side will have an excellent chance of progressing.